Why do characters have to say "father" or "mother" in movies?
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  1. #1
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    Why do characters have to say "father" or "mother" in movies?

    Yet another late night pondering. I've noticed that in almost all movies, characters refer to their parents as "father" or "mother" rather than mom or dad. Even little kids no older than eight are saying "oh my FATHER turned Sponge Bob off." I find it cheesy. I guess its a formal thing to make it sound more mature. Eh who knows.

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    Bad writing? Attempt to stay at standard language? In-character reason depending on the context? I dunno, I can't say I'd noticed it that much (then again I don't watch movies that much anymore either). At least words "dad" and "mom" were used in the new Transformers movies.

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    I find that if a character says father or mother, it's often a reflection of who that character is, e.g. Draco Malfoy is a rich brat with a very traditional upbringing. In my experience it's still more common for characters to say mom or dad.

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    Interesting post.

    I have often pondered this very thing, and due to employing British spelling, often have great difficulty distinguishing between further, farther and father. This ultimately lead to me losing the plot in The Empire Strikes back, as I thought Vader was just a "further", more advanced version of Luke; he should have just said, "I'm your dad". Elwell had the right idea. Instead Luke winds up fighting his future self and ignoring the fact that a time machine had to be involved.

    Additionally, brother should really be "bro" since I confuse it with "bother." This particular conundrum had me perplexed during the climax of Saving Private Ryan, since I would have been elated that everyone who was ever a bother to me is dead. Instead Matt Damon starts crying like a schoolgirl in a slaughterhouse.

    Lastly, the clergy kinda messed up mother and sister for me. Especially after seeing photographs of Mother Teresa. I feel the words should be reserved for things that look like someone tried to wrap a rusted faucet in a ball sack.

    Mother, father, brother and sister all simply fall into that category of archaic words that no longer serve any purpose in the modern language, taking their place next to words such as, "aforethought", "comprehensive" and "illuminating".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brendan N View Post
    Interesting post.
    You had me worried for a second there.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Brendan N View Post
    Mother, father, brother and sister all simply fall into that category of archaic words that no longer serve any purpose in the modern language, taking their place next to words such as, "aforethought", "comprehensive" and "illuminating".
    Uhhhhhhh...I use all those words. Regularly. So do most people I know. What am I missing?

    I think my mother would've fetched me one upside the head if I called her "Mom."

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    Gravitas.

    "Luke, I am your daddy."
    See what I mean?


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    If you hire James Earl Jones you expect "FAHTHUH", not "Daddy". On the other hand at four years of age my son Allan was calling my wife and me "mother" and "father", I think because the words were new to him and he was trying them out.

    Last edited by Cory Hinman; April 5th, 2011 at 08:48 AM. Reason: I spelled trying tryinh and other onther
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    They don't say goodbye in phones, either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CGMonkey View Post
    They don't say goodbye in phones, either.
    This is the most troubling part. They usually say something like "Peace" or "Talk To Ya Later"

    In all honesty though, plenty of people still use those words. In fact the words Mom and Dad aren't as universal as you might think. I know I never heard or used them until I moved to the US. Father or Mother seemed to suffice for me still.

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    Well I say 'Ma'.
    Clearly it's a cultural thing. So stop worrying about it.

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    Wait, no ones calls their parents mater and pater?


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    With all due respect guys and without pointing any fingers, some of the comments here are just illiterate crap. How you and your uneducated slang totin' buddies speak does not reflect the changing face of modern English. English is spoken in many different ways by people all over the world. Not only is it used in different countries and cultures, and by people with varying levels of ability, it is used in many diffferent social contexts and classes.

    Making statements like "Noone says xxxxx anymore" when what you really mean is "My friends and I don't use xxxxx" is just the height of idiocy, pardon my French.

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    No-one understands irony anymore.


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    at what age can you call your parents by their first name? when you first get laid? when you move out?

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    ^ If it is when you first get laid, I would've called my dad "Dave" and he'd immediately just reply with "Nice one son" /thumbsup

    That'd be a good secret way to let your folks know actually

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    Quote Originally Posted by zwarrior View Post
    at what age can you call your parents by their first name? when you first get laid? when you move out?
    Didn't know there was such an age...

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    I do find it weird some times. It depends on the manner in which they say it though.
    "Oh shit, mother, there is that drunk guy pissing on our fence again", "Father, are you going bowling tonight?".. "Mother, I'm taking Carrie to the prom".
    It feels kind of Steven King creepy. IMO and bothers me a little when the setting is supposed to be pleasant, or urban.

    I'm ok with spoiled brats saying it (Mother, can I have a pony), or when they use it speaking to other friends (My mother is furious again).

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